Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Mudgee Magic - Part the Second

OK, so upon driving back into town we went firstly to Mudgee Gourmet. This is a little shop now located in the glorious old Mudgee Railway Station building. It stocks a range of locally made jams, jellies, chutneys, sauces, oils and....well, you get the idea. I was keen to visit here to get another jar of The Grape Alternative's Traminer and Mint Jelly (I had purchased some on a previous Mudgee trip). This time I also grabbed a Shiraz and Lemon Thyme Jelly also ($13 per jar). These jellies are delicious and would be just as much at home on a cheese platter as accompanying your next roast dinner. There is also a wonderful local art and craft co-op at the railway station too - I have added to my cobalt blue pottery collection on both visits here :).

And finally we tracked down the Mudgee Brewing Company, as I understand it it's a relatively new enterprise housed in a lovely old building on the main street (Church Street). Whilst none of us are beer drinkers, Kaz had to purchase some of the beers for a work colleague and also grabbed a six pack of Porter for her dark-beer-loving husband, so the rest of us thought it might be a good place to get the 'other halves' a token present for keeping the home fires burning while we galavanted around wineries for a weekend. I ummed and ahhhed about getting some for Red, finally getting him a 6 pack with 3 Spring Ale (a wheat beer I believe) and 3 Pale Ales. At $20 for a six pack I thought this was pretty good value for a boutique brewery. Red has tried one of each and given the Pale Ale the two thumbs up.

Then it was back to our cottage and a night of tragic 80's DVDs. I had briefly mentioned the Lindt Bunny earlier, a 1kg monstrosity that Doodah brought with her. While our minds were boggling at how we would consume such a beast (but boy, were we willing to give it a try) I hit on the idea of melting it down. Huzzah! And then Kaz had the brilliant idea of making hot chocolates with the melted bunny. Double huzzah!! So a night of pure liquid Lindt indulgence followed.

The next morning after packing ourselves back into the Tarago, we had two more stops to make on our way out of town.

Firstly we wanted to visit the High Valley Wine and Cheese Company. We all love our cheese and were very much looking forward to a bit of tasting and maybe some purchases. But (and you knew this was coming) we happened to time our arrival just as a minibus full of,er, older Australians pulled up. By the time we got inside they had crowded out the wine tasting counter and also the cheese tasting counter. When any of us tried to squeeze past we were met with tsks and mumblings about being pushy and rude. Perhaps if they stepped right up to the counter instead of standing right in the middle of the only thoroughfare we wouldn't have had to be so pushy and rude (not that we were). Anyway, I digress. Some of us did make it to the front of the wine counter only to be soundly ignored. Kaz made it to the front of the cheese tasting counter (she's wiley that one) only to be looked square in the eye and then soundly ignored.

Having worked in tourism marketing all of my career, I simply cannot understand places like this; why do they not set themselves up for groups better? I have had this experience at more than one cellar door - for some reason if you happen to arrive at the same time as a large group you get ignored. Its disappointing as our money is valid currency too. In this case I know ALL of us would have been keen to buy some cheese, instead we bought nothing and left disgruntled and disappointed. I surely hope that bus load made up for our lost sales.

Luckily we left on a high after a visit to Clearview Estate, our interest piqued by the promise of their sparkling shiraz (a favourite amongst our group) and also a liquer shiraz. Only a couple of us tasted, but we were quite impressed with the sparkling shiraz (yes Mum, there's a bottle put away for Christmas) and I also bought a bottle of their rose, a more typical and refreshing example of a rose compared to the different but still yummy Pieter van Gent.'s

And with that we were off and over the mountains and back to Sydney, husbands and children. Mudgee is a great place for a long weekend away, with lots of wineries and 'foodie' oriented places to visit - they also have quite a few markets at differing times of the month so check dates etc if you are planning a visit . It was relatively quiet at this time of year, but I liked it that way. Mudgee holds a wine festival every year in September which would be worth checking out.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great weekend was had by all! Good idea melting the bunny down and making hot chocolate. 1 kg of chocolate is a lot otherwise. Tsk tsk on that cheese shop though!